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Internet Responds To Racist Article, Gets Author Fired 1208

In the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy in February, many publications posted articles about "the talk" — a phrase denoting the conversation many black parents have at some point with their children to explain the realities of racism. Last Thursday, writer John Derbyshire penned an article titled "The Talk: Nonblack Version," which codified a similar set of lessons he had given to his children over the years. Unfortunately, those lessons turned out to be horribly racist themselves. "The remarkably long list of how to teach children to stay safe by avoiding black people goes on for two pages and Derbyshire contends is a true lifesaver. There is no irony or clarification that, perhaps, this is a joke, no matter how much you may want to find a disclaimer after you’re done reading." Reader concealment writes to point out that the internet and the media vocalized their disgust quickly and at length, and now Derbyshire has been fired from his position at the conservative National Review magazine (the offending article appeared in a different publication called Taki's Magazine).

Comment Re:correlation != causation (Score 1) 311


look here, pal, when i make a counterpoint around on the internet, i expect a stiffly ideological rebuttal, not any of this earnest bullshit

srs though, i agree with you on this to a certain point. i also think that every business should be allowed to do most any retarded thing with their budgets that they want to, for their own reward and their own risks.

where we diverge, i think, from reading your other posts, is that you might believe that businesses should be able to get as large as they want, and then also fail. there is truth to the phrase, "too large to fail." the truth is, that if these banks had failed, this would have (directly) lead to the banks and other institutions that they owed money, to also fail. this would have meant that the institutions that held most of america's money (both businesses and private citizens) would fail, and not have enough money to pay out to citizens withdrawing their funds. then a run on the banks, which leads to many more banks failing as all of their capital is being withdrawn by scared citizens, increasing the problem to the point of, well, great depression.

this isn't an exaggeration. in two days in sept 2008, WaMu (largest savings and loan), and wachovia (4th largest financial institution) had a combined $21 billion bank run: businesses and citizens withdrawing their money and stashing it. if the government hadn't taken swift action, we'd be having a very different conversation right now. there aren't many things i thank the bush administration for, but this is one of them. since i'm made of point of my distaste for bush just now, i should make very clear i don't blame his admin for the crisis. the 2008 situation was the result of very hard work by banking execs, and nearly thirty years of hodgepodge financial regulations by every congress and president that sat.

i'm not saying the bailout was a good thing all over. i wished that the concept of the economy being strong enough to withstand a run on the banks without a lost decade (or three) was a realistic one, but it wasn't.

i think i'm getting chatty and off-topic. where i think you're right: the bailout laid the framework for businesses to repeat the same mistakes with the notion that they can forever get away with it, profiting when their luck is good, bailed out by the taxpayer when it isn't.

the solution, though, wasn't to deny a bailout, instead, it was to use regulation to limit the size of businesses in an industry (in this case, finance industry) to stop them from growing so large that their failure could destabilize the national economy. to catchphrase it, "don't say there isn't too large to fail, prevent there from being too large to fail.

United States

Supreme Court Approves Strip Searches For Any Arrestable Offense 747

sl4shd0rk writes "Taking a page out of the TSA handbook, the Supreme Court has voted to allow strip searches for any offense, no matter how minimal. The article cites these two tidbits from Justice Anthony Kennedy: 'Every detainee who will be admitted to the general [jail or prison] population may be required to undergo a close visual inspection while undressed,' and 'Maintaining safety and order at detention centers requires the expertise of correctional officials.'"

Comment Re:correlation != causation (Score 5, Interesting) 311

not sure if trolling, or just revisionist

fannie+freddie were not forced by law to to give subprime loans. they were compelled by the market forces, as propelled by de/unregulated banks (2004 lowered Debt Capital Rule, unregulated derivatives and CDO market, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, DIDMCA, adjustable-rate mortages), which allowed the major institutions to over-leverage themselves while dealing out predatory ARMs.

if fannie+freddie had not existed the 2008 FC would have still happened in the private sector alone. northern rock, countrywide, bear stearns, lehman brothers, merril lynch would have still all collapsed/required government takeover. the (de)regulatory framework simply allowed them astronomic profits at substantial risk, with the knowledge that any failure would cause systemic collapse, thus requiring government action, thus mitigating any risk to the personal wealth of the execs and traders.

yes, fannie+freddie were headed by some fuckups that made decisions very similar to the large banks. but they were the decisions of private executives; these organizations were not compelled by law to seek inappropriate mortgages and then leverage them on the CDO market. they were compelled by high profits and low effective risk, just like the other speculative lenders.


Apple Unveils New iPad 989

adeelarshad82 writes "As expected, Apple announced the new iPad complete with a Retina Display, quad-core processor, 4G LTE, and an improved camera. The new iPad will run the rumored A5X processor, which according to Apple will provide four times the performance of the Tegra 3. The revamped tablet will also include a 2048-by-1536 display, apparently the most in any mobile device. And finally with 4G LTE, the new iPad will provide up to 73 Mbps download speeds; partners for which include Verizon, Rogers, Bell, Telus, and AT&T."
Open Source

LibreOffice Developer Community Increasingly Robust 180

New submitter someWebGeek writes "LibreOffice, the community-driven fork of OpenOffice, appears to have a very healthy and growing group of code contributors. The Document Foundation has published new stats that portray the climbing rates of developer involvement both in terms of numbers of people and numbers of code commits. One of the most encouraging aspects, as noted by Ryan Paul in an article at Ars, is that non-corporate code contributions by independent volunteers constitute the largest slice of the latest commit-pie."

Comment Re:Bandwidth caps (Score 4, Informative) 186

what? no.

in any areas where population density is a problem, the cable has already been laid for decades now. any equipment upgrades that needed done were also completed many years ago.

in areas where population density is not a problem, "laying cable" is incredibly cheap work, and often subsidized.

the "expense" is that the large telecoms have lobbied their way into regional monopolies, and legally prevent competitors from supplying better products (unlimited packages).

Comment Re:Bandwidth caps (Score 2) 186

in louisiana, i was getting Cox's 8Mbps connection with no cap for $55 a month. i typically used about 170GB/month

in quebec, Videotron's 8Mbps connection cost $45 a month, but only had a 50GB cap. unusable.
Videotron's 60Mbps connection costs $83 a month with a 150GB cap. unreasonable price for the cap, still, and absurd speed - what kind of residence would need that? i can't find any slowdowns in anything i do with 15Mbps

i settled for videotron's 15Mbps connection: $55 a month, 90GB cap. toe the line every month and am getting sick of watching the (6-12 hours behind) meter on their website. hunted for an alternative two weeks ago, came up short considering the home phone/basic cable bundle.

getting fed up with this.

Comment Re:What about... (Score 1) 290

right, that is what the website is. isn't a statement, it's consistency.

yes, i agree, slashdot did (and to a lesser extent, does) have an agenda, which is why we read the "news" here we do.

in the vein of this conversation as the GP phrased it, though, slashdot does not participate in movements at large, a la the GP's question, "What about... SLASHDOT?

What the hell guys? Do we not care about these bills to even change the color scheme?"

the answer to that is, slashdot is not a site that participates in these sort of editorial statements. i'm not saying that the editors should, or that it would be a better thing to do. i'm just saying that they don't do anything to progress the causes they believe in. if you have some links that tell me otherwise, i will be glad to read.

Comment Re:What about... (Score 1) 290

did they do anything to express this, besides linking to echo-chamber articles that (actual) journalists write?

i'm not saying they didn't favor linking that type of news and coverage, of course they did (still mostly do). i'm saying they didn't do anything about it.

Comment Re:What about... (Score 1) 290

similar to what i replied to xtracto, you're talking about users talking about things they themselves believed in, in relation to the news articles of the day. slashdot as a website, business, and editorial platform doesn't seem to take stands on topics or causes.

Comment Re:What about... (Score 1) 290

i think we're talking about two different things.

slashdot mods just posted echo-chamber news articles from different websites, and the users patted each other's backs with long posts and +5 scores to everything that agreed with their outrage

slashdot, as a website or a platform, hasn't done anything (i can think of) participating in any cause, like the event being held today on sites like wikipedia, reddit, etc).

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